Lesson 3: Britain, Napoleon, and the American Embargo, 1803–1808

This Lesson 3: Britain, Napoleon, and the American Embargo, 1803–1808 lesson plan also includes:

While the French were once the allies of Americans, the Napoleonic Wars saw the United States almost drawn into a war with its one-time friend. Wars in Europe threatened to draw in the early republic. A primary source-based activity including documents from the French, British, and American perspectives allows scholars to examine American options during the age of Napoleon. 

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Use the primary sources to explore American foreign policy options as described in the lesson plan
  • Adapt a portion of the resource to discussion of the Jefferson administration 
Classroom Considerations
  • Third and final installment of the The Crisis of American Diplomacy, 1793–1808 series
  • This resource is only available on an unencrypted HTTP website. It should be fine for general use, but don’t use it to share any personally identifiable information
  • Ideas for assessment and extension make the lesson plan easy to adapt
  • Primary sources are curated and easy to scaffold
  • Many links are no longer active, requiring teacher research to use the resource